The End of an Era

After over 6 years of intensive research and community development work in and around the Yachana Reserve, GVI Amazon is coming to a close. We have finished our final research project (look forward to our Road Effects paper, coming soon!) and are handing over the project to our partner, The Yachana Foundation. They will continue to maintain and monitor the reserve, using it as an hands-on science education center for students -- we're very excited to see what fabulous things this next generation of scientists find! For more detail on GVI Amazon's closure, and our accomplishments over the years, please read on...
GVI Amazon Closure Statement

Saturday, June 4, 2011

GVI Base Camp invades Rio Bueno community! & Help sponsor our Rio Bueno Fundraiser!

Our visit to the local community of Rio Bueno turned out to be a day of football and a barbeque in the sun. A day of fun fuelled antics you might think? Well, you’d be correct but there was some seriousness behind our trip to the village. What I mean by this is at GVI we always make an effort to ensure a good relationship is maintained with neighbouring communities. Rio Bueno was going to be no exception.

We had received an invitation to visit Rio Bueno when the president of the village, while visiting the GVI base camp, decided that the jungle cookies that I made were clearly too good (note the sarcasm) and that he had to do one better. So the next Friday the majority of the volunteers at camp made the hour long walk to Rio Bueno in the baking Ecuadorian sun. We arrived, suitably sweaty, and were taken by Walter, the president, to one of the villagers’ houses. We had been pre-warned by members of staff that we might be offered a local drink called Chicha. This drink is made using river water and can be known to cause projectile vomiting. Well, maybe not projectile vomiting but you get the idea. Thankfully there was not a drop of Chicha to be seen. Instead we were greeted in the house with glasses of cold beer which, unsurprisingly, put huge smiles on many of our faces. We then proceeded to have a game of football with some members of the village, most of whom were half our age but twice our skill on the pitch. After about an hour of football we were again rather sweaty. Walter decided to remedy this with a visit to a refreshing stream that runs through Rio Bueno. The perfect way to cool down and finish off a simply splendid visit. They weren’t finished yet though. We returned to the football field thinking the visit was over only to find some of the villagers had started a barbeque and plates of freshly cooked river fish and plantain were pressed upon us. This summed up the hospitality we had received from the people of Rio Bueno. From start to finish they had gone out of their way to make us feel welcome. Not an easy thing to do when you consider we were mostly strangers to them who predominantly spoke a different language. We made sure that they knew we were grateful for everything and I personally hope that GVI's relationship with Rio Bueno will be a happy one for many years to come.

Paul Thomas, GVI Amazon Volunteer, May - June 2011



For more info on the challenge, check out the GVI Charitable Trust Blog: